Restore A Deck Prep and Staining Steps

We understand that everyone needs help with their wood/deck restoration and that not all projects are the same. Different species of wood, the age of wood, and types and brands of previous coatings make it difficult for homeowners to determine what is needed to restore their exterior wood or deck correctly.

We will ask some specific questions and reply to what you will need to do in your restoration process and the appropriate products and amounts to purchase, so it receives the proper prep and treatment required.

In the comment section below, you must include:

  • Square Footage of Area to be Restored:

-For Decks, use the calculator in the right column (scroll down) for desktop or below this article/comments on mobile

-Fences: Length x Height x 2 (for both sides) = Total square footage

-Homes: Do each side Lenght x Height, then add up all sides.

  • Type of wood if known:
  • Approximate Age of Wood:
  • If Applicable, Previous Stain Brand Used and Type (Examples of Type: Transparent, Semi-Transparent, Solid Stain, Oil-Based, Water-Based): 
  • If Applicable, When was the last time wood was stained:
  • Wood Type to be Stained (Deck, House, Fence, etc.):
  • Do you have access to a pressure washer:
  • Miscellaneous Info:
  • *Must Include 1-3 Photos of Restoration Project. There is a link to upload photos in the bottom right corner of the comment area.

Restore A Deck Stain Application Tips

 

 

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  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Kashiem · 04/17/2019
    Hi. I have a 6 year old deck constructed with pressure treated wood and stained twice with Cabot Gold semi-transparent stain. Can I use RAD's stain remover...and brightener? Thanks in advance!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/17/2019
      You should be able to. Feel free to post a picture of the current deck stain on the deck.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        kashiem · 04/17/2019
        Also, would the stain remover and/or brightener damage concrete pavers that butt up against the deck upon application?
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    Jim D · 04/17/2019
    I stained new PT deck a year ago with RAD Wood Stain Natural, and looks like I need to add another coat. The deck is under a covered porch, so only the perimeter boards, front and sides of the deck is exposed to sun and rain and those areas especially need another application. Other than a light power washing, do you recommend anything before applying another coat of RAD Wood Stain?
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    Ron Oechsle · 04/17/2019
    I recently stained our deck rails (dark walnut) and managed to get some overspray on our vinyl house siding. Can you recommend the best way to remove it? Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/17/2019
      Try a graffiti remover cleaner from your local hardware store.
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    Daniel Mejer · 04/17/2019
    For an ipe deck, stained 2 yr ago w AC and to be stained w RAD Cedar, what is the max time between stripping, brightening and then staining before having to re-brighten? I may have to wait a wk or 2 after brightening to stain.

    What variables figure into this issue?

    Thank you!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Keith Farquhar · 04/16/2019
    Is the deck brush sufficient to get to the gaps between the deck boards, or does this need to be done with a smaller brush? Also could I use the cleaner/brightner on red cedar pole that had some black mold?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/17/2019
      The brush will get down a small amount between the gaps. Maybe a 1/4 inch. The cleaner should help with the mold.
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    Liz · 04/16/2019
    Do you sell sample sizes of Armstrong stain for ipe
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/16/2019
      We do but you not on the site. You can call 866-856-3324 for this.
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    Liz · 04/16/2019
    Can you pls send pic of three yr old or so ipe deck with light walnut and mahogany? Thank you! How much rad cleaner and Brightener would you advise for roughly 2000sq Ft ipe 3 yr old thinking it has not been sealed...
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Tango · 04/15/2019
    If I stain one day and it rains the next or during the night will it affect the stain in any way? I did not see any Q&A about this. Thanks!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Miles · 04/14/2019
    400 square foot approximately including hand rail and stairs.
    I think cedar
    Age is approximately over 15 years
    I started pressure washing a bleach solution mold armor deck spray.
    I recently cracked a board and replaced with a brand new, and I'm worried the stained wont match from the old boards. Planning on putting restore a deck brightener, and then sanding to hopefully make it match.
    I want to finish this deck before may 11th which is our house warming party. Hopefully we can find a dry weekend
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/15/2019
      Prep with both the RAD Deck Cleaner and the RAD Brightener. Sanding will not make the wood match and will hinder the stain's ability to soak into the wood. Do not sand. There is no way to match your old wood to your new board the first time staining.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    iPaint and Contract Inc · 04/14/2019
    i am cleaning and brightening an IPE deck that has never been stained. The deck has glass panels surrounded by wood which also has to be cleaned. I read something about glass being damaged by this product. What would be the process to clean the deck and glass & wood railing without damaging the glass. thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/14/2019
      Glass is not damaged by the prep products but you do have to be careful of dirt and grime sticking to the glass while drying. Pre-wet the glass and rinse during cleaning and thoroughly after and you should be okay.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Doug · 04/13/2019
    We had a cedar deck installed in July of last year which is 375 sq ft. How much of each product should I order?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/13/2019
      3-4 Gallons of the RAD Wood Stain. 1 Cleaner/Brightener Kit.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Farrell · 04/12/2019
    Can I purchase 2.5 gallons verses 5 gallons? 1 container instead of 2.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Landon Kaufmann · 04/12/2019
    Hi,
    I have two questions. I purchased the stripper, brightener and stain kit. This is a recently purchased home and had failing, unknown stain. I used the stripper on 4/7. The stripper worked well but there are some stubborn areas which I am currently sanding. I just read the directions again and realized it is recommended to use the brightener immediately after stripping. I unfortunately did not do so, although I rinsed the deck thoroughly with water. Is there something I can or should do to ensure the stain adheres well? Or did I really mess up by not using the brightener right after stripping?

    Also, sanding is taking a while since this is a large deck. Does it matter if I sand over the course of a couple weeks before staining? I like in PA so the weather is quite mild right now, but I am worried about the unprotected wood being unprotected for a couple weeks.

    Thank you!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/12/2019
      You can still use the brightener now. Just best results if you do it right away. If it takes a few weeks to sand, lightly pressure wash all wood and then brightener after.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Landon Kaufmann · 04/12/2019
        Thank you for the quick reply and guidance. Looking forward to getting this completed with the help of RAD products!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Brian Luebke · 04/11/2019
    1st pic is from day after application. 2nd pic is from this last week.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/12/2019
      Lightly wash with the RAD Cleaner. No need to for the brightener. Apply one light coat to the floors.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Brian Luebke · 04/11/2019
    I did a clean > brighten > stain last July. Deck was admittedly in rough shape going into it (18 years old), but came out looking great. A Wisconsin winter later there are some grey streaks appearing. What is the recommendation for proper re-application?
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jim Taylor · 04/11/2019
    BTW..I have had a gallon of the stain in my shed for a year now. Temp never below 45 in there. Is the stain still good?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/11/2019
      Unopened it should be fine as long as it did not freeze.
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    Jim Taylor · 04/11/2019
    I used the TP100 Clear Stain on my deck 3 years ago. Should I use the cleaner or the stripper on it as the first step? There is mildew on it now so I doubt there is much stain left on it. Your suggestions would be appreciated. BTW...LOVE your products and have recommended them to all interested...
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/11/2019
      If you are using the TWP Clear again, then use the Cleaner for prep.
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    arfrogs · 04/10/2019
    Hi we applied RAD to our deck and it turned orange?? We had a natural pine deck and it was installed as of last april 18, we followed direction and prepped the deck as you suggested and got a awful orange deck. We made sure to stir and shake product before use ..how can we get rid of the orange glow?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/10/2019
      The final color for the RAD stain will vary on many things. Wood type, prep, the age of the wood, the porosity of the wood, and application method. The Natural color is tinted "golden" but final color can vary between a light golden color to a caramel color based on all these variables mentioned above. Most likely your wood type is enhancing the natural tones of your wood. Attached is an example of the Natural tint on a deck.

      There is not a way to lighten or get rid of the orange outside of removing and starting over. It also does have a tendency to fade or tone down in color.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Charles MacIsaac · 04/10/2019
    Just following up from my question below . Posting pictures . I dont know if just a clean and stain will work or if I need to go further and strip. Here are some photos
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Charles MacIsaac · 04/10/2019
    Just looking to see if your products can be used on Western Red Cedar Siding with Sikkens stain on it . If so what combo would you recommend . We bought the house (9 years old) and its in need of some cleaning and re staining.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Karen · 04/09/2019
    Can you tell me if this product will kill or damage plants ? I have hostas all around my deck and they are starting to come up .
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/10/2019
      It shouldn't but cover with plastic when applying and rinse before and after any dirt and soap residue that may get on the plant leaves.
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    dani · 04/09/2019
    do you have any pictures of decks stained with the dark walnut?
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    Dennis · 04/09/2019
    i live in Taiwan and bought some of your product whilst in the US and want some more do you ship outside the US
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    April · 04/08/2019
    Do you still sell you 2.5 gallon container? I have a 400 sf deck.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/08/2019
      We do not offer the 2.5 gallons on our website.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Michael · 04/08/2019
    Two questions:

    1. How long does it take RAD stain to dry enough for light traffic? I have several heavy items on my deck (which has quite a few steps) that I prefer not to move. My plan is to stain half the deck, let that dry, then move the heavy items to the stained side and then finish. How long would I need to allow for this?

    2. My deck is a mix of older and newer wood. I had a section added last summer and have replaced some boards on the older side. The original wood was treated with a Thompson's grade clear water seal a few years ago. Water no longer beads on these previously treated boards so I assume that treatment has totally worn off. Do I need to do anything besides clean/brighten the entire deck? Any stripping needed on the older sealed wood?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/08/2019
      1. 2-6 hours.
      2. Clean and brighten the new wood. Older wood, if it has a coating, will need to have that coating removed.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Jamie · 04/07/2019
    I went through the complete process back in Sept of 2018. I cleaned, stripped and brightened then stained. It looked great after many, many hours of prep and staining. After this winter some portions have flaked (for lack of a better word) off. Please see attached pictures and let me know what is recommended.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/08/2019
      Hi Jamie,

      The pictures show an over application of the stain. The RAD stain is a penetrating stain that soaks fully into the wood grain. In the pictures, it was applied to the point that it did not soak in correctly but dried on top of the wood. Even to the point that is created a shine, which it is not supposed to do.

      See the attached picture with the description of the proper application.

      At this point, it might be best to just lightly touch up those spots and then do a full restore next year.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mark B · 04/07/2019
    My deck is 650 Square feet . The deck is about 4 years old and has never been stained or sealed. I do have a power washer. How much cleaner, brighter and stain would I need.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/07/2019
      One RAD Cleaner/Brightener Kit. About 6-7 gallons of stain.
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    Nicola · 04/04/2019
    What would you recommend for this deck? I don't know its history but nothing has been done in the last 5 years except a brief power wash with deck cleaner.
    Thanks!
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
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      RAD Products · 04/04/2019
      If it was, it was a long time ago and most likely with a clear sealer.
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    doug dittberner · 04/02/2019
    I have power washed my ipe patio table two chairs and two bench seats. What color should I use to get the natural ipe look. It was a darker reddish brown when I purchased it about seven years ago